Why is Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s screenwriter “not making a videogame movie”?

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

“We’re not making a videogame movie, we’re making a cyberpunk movie,” says the man who would rewrite Deus Ex for celluloid eyes and popcorn ears.

“We’ve taken a look at what’s worked in videogames and what hasn’t, and really what we’ve broken down is what we think the audience really wants and [what] the audience that loves Deus Ex is going to want to see out of a Deus Ex movie.”

And what is it precisely that we want? I think I want a crumpet, but Human Revolution screenwriter and Sinister graduate C. Robert Cargill seems to know better.

“What [Deus Ex fans] want to see are elements of the game that they love, but they want to see things that they hadn’t quite seen in the game, that the game didn’t allow them to see,” he said in a CraveOnline interview.

Although Cargill and director Scott Derrickson have relocated Jensen from private security to public sector SWAT teaming, the creative duo have reportedly found it “very easy” to extract those key elements from Human Revolution’s “great cinematic story”.

“But really, at its core, we just keep telling each other, ‘We’re not making a video game movie, we’re making a cyberpunk movie.’ And Scott and I are such big cyberpunk fans from way back in the day that that just really charges us up,” said Cargill.

“Because that’s what’s so great about Deus Ex to begin with, is it really gets cyberpunk,” he continued. “Eidos Montreal really understood the nature of cyberpunk and made ‘the’ cyberpunk game, and it is just fantastic, and we’ve just had a great time adapting it.”

I’m more or less convinced that Cargill and Derrickson have adopted the right attitude to augment a new medium with the essence of the series. What’s more, I can understand why they’d like to distance themselves from the stunted history of videogame adaptation and, frankly, I’ve never heard a screenwriter so much as reference a development team before. So that’s something.

Having said that, while Human Revolution drew augmentation into the thematic core of the series like never before, Deus Ex at its best has always built on a future so near as to be uncanny. When it hasn’t, it’s been Invisible War. Is there a risk that Human Revolution: The Motion Picture might plough too deep a traditional cyberpunk furrow?

Thanks, PC Gamer.